The Grape Cure
(By Johanna Brandt, N.D., Ph.D. Harmony Centre, Inc., 112 Stella Court, Lynbrook, L. L, N. Y. $3.00.)
Reviewed by Virginia Scott
This book should prove of special interest to readers of East-West and SRF students who have often heard Paramhansa Yogananda mention the value of grapes in cleansing the system, and the effect of meat-eating on cancer. While books on the grape cure have appeared in all European languages during the last few hundred years, and grapes are used as the basis of cures in many European sanatoriums today, this is said to be the first such book published in America. Furthermore, Mrs. Brandt arrived at her conclusions through independent experimentation and research (before having heard of European experiments) and was the first to use a grape diet as a remedy for cancer. Her method differs from some European cures by insisting on a strict mono-diet during the first part of the course, and also in other details.
Johanna Brandt made her discovery the hard way-not by reading, nor by testing the effects of foods on others, but by experimenting upon herself in the course of a nine-year fight for health. This finally developed into a fight for life itself when the chronic stomach ailment which had persisted so long was x-rayed and revealed as a "vicious fibrous growth" which was dividing the stomach in two. Refusing to undergo an operation to prolong her painful life, Mrs. Brandt still continued her experiments with fasting and diet. During these years she and her family studied many systems of drugless healing - fasting cures, spinal adjustment, "German water cures, Swiss sun bathing, Russian fruit cures and Oriental works on the science of deep breathing." She learned that all these methods are valuable in some cases, and was even able to cure many patients through the knowledge she had gathered. But her own condition seemed hopeless. While the growth was checked by every fast it was not destroyed, and renewed its strength each time meals were resumed. Because she fasted to the point of starvation, and thus was able to gauge the effect of foods subsequently taken, she proved, among other things, that "cancer thrives on every form of animal food-the more impure, the better."
It was after a seven day fast that she accidentally discovered the strange twofold power inherent in grapes. In six weeks she was cured. Knowing that her discovery could save unnumbered lives, she devoted the following years to spreading it in America--going through the usual struggles with the medical fraternity. However, she was able to interest a few of the more advanced Md.'s and some drugless physicians. Now many throughout the country use her method in combating a number of diseases. (There are brief forewords by Drs. Benedict Lust and F. W. Collins.)
The Cure Itself
Although the chapter which contains directions for the grape cure could be outlined briefly here, it would not be wise to do so lest the apparent simplicity of the instructions lead some enthusiastic readers to undertake the course without obtaining the book itself and reading the valuable supplementary instructions and information in other chapters. However, it might be well to clear up a few misapprehensions held by most students who have merely "heard about" the curative value of grapes. First, one cannot obtain satisfactory results just by eating lots of grapes each season. Grapes added to food may even cause distress, for: "The grape, more than any other fruit, is subject to fermentation. It is chemically converted into poison when mixed with other substances in a perverted system." One must have only grapes and fresh cold water--preceding this diet by a complete fast of several days' duration. And the patient does not simply return to a "normal" diet when the grapes have done their work. Instead, the course takes him through three stages. The duration of these, and the foods to be taken, are listed in this informative chapter. The complete course of treatment may take from a few weeks (for those who use it periodically as a cleansing, body toning measure) to six months (for those who suffer from some chronic ailment of long-standing).
Mistakes Alter Results
This book may clarify a number of points for anyone who has experimented with a grape diet without adequate instructions at hand-and without success. Such a person may not have prepared his system by fasting. Or perhaps he did not stick to a mono-diet, or tried to return suddenly to a mixed diet, or used some form of medicine at the same time. This last mistake can prove very dangerous, warns the author, for: "When preparations containing iron or other inorganic metals have been injected into the blood in the form of serums, the acids of the grape have a corrosive tendency."
The symptoms, or healing crises, which often accompany the cure may also mislead and discourage the patient who is not forewarned. The more poison there is in the system, the more violent the reaction will be as the waste matter is thrown off, or--as in cancer and tumor--the diseased tissues are destroyed. For the grape is "the most powerful nature solvent of chemical deposits, and at the same time the most drastic eliminator. Because of its extraordinary properties, the avenues of excretion become superbly active under a proper grape diet. The first results of the diet are therefore different in every case. According to the condition of the patient, the first effects may be distressing or instantly beneficial. A healthy person may go on the exclusive grape diet and suffer no inconvenience, lose no weight and be able to carry on his usual work without any loss of strength. Not so the sick. In a diseased body the complications arising from the diet may be in exact accord with the gravity of the disease."
Nor is the prospective patient always accurate in assuming he is one of the "healthy" ones. He may arouse and destroy, if he is persistent - latent diseases which would not otherwise have manifested for months or years. As Mrs. Brandt says: "A seemingly healthy person may set out gaily on a grape diet, merely to reduce weight, for instance, and at the end of a few weeks he may be quite a sorry spectacle. Some deep-seated trouble has been ferreted out by the grape, driven out into the open, and the wise thing to do in such cases is to continue the four stages of the diet until every trace of disorder has disappeared." In serious cases the turning-point is sudden, and occurs as soon as the poisons have been eliminated. From that time on, the grape acts solely in its second capacity-as a builder.
Cancer - Causes and Remedy
While Mrs. Brandt believes that heavy meat-eating has influenced the high cancer rate in her own country--South Africa--and that meat is the favorite sustenance of such growths, her experiences and observations have pointed out two other causes. "I have come to the conclusion," she says, "that cancer is due, not so much to wrong living, artificial hours and the high pressure of modern life, as to the excessive use of common table salt, baking powder and the whole army of mineral drugs and essences prepared in the laboratory. The human body does not possess the power of assimilating, utilizing or eliminating inorganic substances. They are of an immensely harmful nature and in time their corroding action on the nerves and tissues promotes irritating conditions in the entire system. Nature does not lie down to the task but collects the poisons and deposits them in some out-of-the-way place. A cancer is formed. That this usually happens in a weak spot, sluggish organ, or bruise. is probably due to the fact that the invading substance meets with little or no resistance in tissues in which the nerves are inactive or have been injured."
By introducing minerals and animal matter into his system, man is violating "the law of nature which decrees that the animal kingdom shall feed upon the vegetable and the vegetable upon the mineral."
A contributing cause is the excessive use of cooked foods. Mrs. Brandt sees every kitchen stove as "a laboratory on which the living essence (organic salts) is converted into dead matter (inorganic poisons)." This third factor is probably less important today with improved cooking methods in common use--than it was years ago when Mrs. Brandt first came to these conclusions.
Because of the author's own experiences, and because cancer is one of today's most terrifying scourges, its reaction to the grape cure is described more fully than that of any other disease. Although the author would like to introduce the grape diet "more as a prevention of cancer than an absolute cure," she realizes that it is also the one hope left for many inoperable cases. Therefore, some of the early test cases are described. Patients who were considered hopelessly stricken, responded, recovered.
Other Diseases-Your Own Case
Can you benefit by going on a grape diet for awhile? You can tell better after reading the whole book, if the idea interests you at all. But it would seem that even a healthy person would benefit by the cleansing properties of the grape. Many students who have already learned the value of an occasional fast followed by a fruit diet will probably be interested in limiting the fruit to grapes, the next time, and comparing the results with those obtained previously. Other readers in "fair health" may suspect that they are harboring poisons, or latent diseases, and try this method of driving them out into the open. Some who have serious ailments and have tried many other things without finding relief may want to try this. (In such cases, Johanna Brandt urges the patient to try to have his own doctor cooperate. Otherwise, to enlist the services of a drugless physician who is familiar with the grape cure. There are such doctors in every part of the country.) In any case, obtain and read this book carefully first, if you are interested--or if you know of someone who might benefit by the diet.
Diseases which have responded to the grape cure include all sorts of "abnormal growths, cancers, tumors, ulcers, abscesses and fibrous masses" which "seem to be dissolved by the powerful chemical agents in the grape." It first destroys poisonous matter, then builds healthy tissues. Gall stones and cataracts have been cured while patients were on the grape diet to cure other diseases.
In tuberculosis the grape acts as a builder. Taken after a fast of a few days it increases strength and weight.
It "relieves many complaints of the stomach, bowels and liver, because of the abundance of natural salts and acids it contains."
It builds strength, prevents relapses and prolonged debility when given to typhoid patients after the acute stage and during convalescence.
Being strongly antiseptic it counteracts pyorrhea poisoning and preserves the teeth. In some instances, loose teeth have become firm and pus has disappeared.
It purifies the blood from gouty or rheumatic poisons, and may aid in arthritis (but should be accompanied by manipulation, fomentation etc. ).
It effects cures in such diseases as scurvy and appendicitis and may aid in pernicious anemia.
It has cured diabetes. "The grape sugar is believed to be an organic solvent which neutralizes the sugar deposits in the blood." However, insulin must be discontinued while the grapes are being taken.
It eliminates unnatural cravings and normalizes perverted appetites such as alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual cravings, the excessive use of tea, coffee or tobacco, etc.
In case any reader regrets the fact that this review is not appearing during the grape season, we should add that subsequent experiments proved to the author that unsweetened, unfermented grape juice-as produced by a number of firms in America-can be used in conjunction with unsulphured raisins when fresh grapes are not in season. Directions are given for this form of the grape diet too. Somehow, bottling or drying does not rob the grape of its healing properties.
Another aspect of this book will please and impress students. That is the fact that the author is not a fanatic. She suggests the use of other health methods in conjunction with an occasional grape diet, if one is to live a healthful life. "The exclusive grape diet will do wonders but it is only a temporary measure. To get the best permanent results, the Grape Cure must be combined with judicious fasting, deep breathing, every form of water treatment, sun-bathing, sea-bathing, physical exercise, fruitarianism and the raw vegetable diet, and mind culture."
Most important of all, she realizes the importance of the mental attitude in all healing work. While her book describes a material method, there are a number of references to the power of mind. She even mentions experiences of superconsciousness when she "attained a bowing acquaintance with my , subliminal self." She does not belittle the power of mind-control, but points out that "we may be healthy even if we have not learned to control our thoughts. What is more, right eating will help us to obtain control over our thoughts." As she says: "The thoughts of supermen may annul the effects of wrong eating but until we have reached that stage we do well to study the daily menu."
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